Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.
Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.
Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or re-occurring through implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and some health professions, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is also a field that is concerned with limiting health disparities and a large part of public health is the fight for health care equity, quality, and accessibility.
Core public health functions are those activities that lay the groundwork for healthy communities. They protect us from diseases and injury we cannot prevent alone, and help up change behaviors which could cause us harm. The essential goal of public health work is to keep all of us out of the doctor’s office.
In public health work a greater emphasis is placed on health promotion and disease prevention as a means to improve overall community health and reduce the costs of care from preventable disease and illness.
Your local public health department is the disease prevention and wellness promotion agency, protecting people's health and safety, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and improving health through strong partnership. Public Health work encompasses a wide range of health threats, including infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, birth defects, food and water safety, bioterrorism, environmental hazards, and occupational health and safety.